Sunday, October 26, 2008

So the Zoloft appears to be kicking in, finally, to which I can only say: about freaking time.
So I'm feeling somewhat better, or to put it more evocatively: drowning, but not completely submerged.
I have, however, had some comforting dreams (which I always seem to have when I've been having a particularly rough time). Just such a dream inspired this.

Oh Suzanna

I dreamed of you
last night,
Prophetess of the red-gold hair and flute;
We were sitting on a low stone wall--
it could have been in
Brewster or in Ithaca,
that home of homes I always return to
in my thoughts,
Where I first knew love unalloyed by
rage or shame--
we were beside a small stream,
gently shaded green.
You laughed, that golden vibrato
I've grown to love--
not high or flighty but a thing of power,
rooted in your chest and pouring forth.
And I confessed that times were hard again,
and you smiled and pulled a blanket from your lap,
the palest yellow,
like a chick just-hatched,
and with deft fingers wrapped me up in it
like an invalid, or like
a frightened child
who requires more than words to still her fear.
Then, motherly, you held me to your chest,
and I could hear your heart, steady as tides,
thrumming beneath the cross you always wear,
and in that moment
surrounded on all sides
by heart-sounds, blankets, arms,
it was as if
someone had spread a poultice
on old wounds,
and for a while the ancient ache dissolved,
and I was home then, loved
and safe and warm. --AG

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

This is not a contest--
or if it is, then only between
your past and present selves.

The award doesn't go
to the one
to finish first, but rather
to finish best,
having collected the most
scintillating, heart-bursting
moments of joy,
the most tokens of genuine
and the fewest
moldering regrets.


Thursday, October 02, 2008

It's the fall; it's always the fall. The days start getting shorter, night starts at 7 pm and suddenly I have to squeeze in runs rather than taking them at a leisurely pace anytime during the long afternoon and evening. Sweatshirts come out, then jackets; jeans come into regular rotation. Apple cider appears in the stores, then Halloween candy. In Ithaca, there would be 30 kinds of apples at Wegman's. Here I go to Schnuck's and because I'm being frugal I buy the 3.99 bag of baby galas. But along with fall, inevitably, comes a depression. Even when I'm taking all the drugs I'm supposed to, using the SAD light like I'm supposed to, downing my flaxseed oil and calcium (to help with PMS, supposedly--there have been double blinded randomized studies, OK?). Late in September, early in October, it falls on me like a bag of bricks. Since I can't do an interpretive dance on screen, I'll put up the verbal version: a poem, to try to describe (kind of) what this period of the year feels like. It's titled "In Tenebris;" Tenebris is a service that's actually held on Good Friday, but for some reason I also associate it with the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels, or Michaelmas, which was on Sept. 29 (like it always is).

In Tenebris

is only Latin for
"in shadow"--yet any
scholar who could call it "only"
Would not be a member of the tribe
who truly knows its depths;
dust-scented sighs,
the last smoked guttering
as a candle dies:
A January night
without a moon
or stars.
I know it, and I know
you know it too,
the light and dark and
their incessant wars
in the silent spaces of the brain--
the rain's quiet thrum
on windowpanes which crescendos
to the roar of doom,
the unquiet night
which spawns the wish to die
alone, in shadow,
in one's own bedroom:
I have lived here so long
I can find my way in the dark,
by touch, with no need for eyes;
Inching along the walls and waiting
if not for sun, then for the moon to rise,
though I don't know when.
We have not died.
The light will come again.